The number of visitors attending the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) grew by more than 15 per cent this year than the previous year.
"We have seen very positive increases in the quality of visitor coming through the show's doors this year. With considerable purchasing power, these visitors have the authority to sign deals on the spot, reiterating the importance buyers place on the region as a key tourism market," said Simon Press, Exhibition Director, ATM. Reed Travel Exhibitions – the organisers of the exhibition – said the increase in quality visitors, which are judged predominantly on purchasing power, reflects the show's comprehensive, content-rich standing in one of the most dynamic and fastest growing tourism markets in the world.
The exhibition ran from May 6 to 9 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).
"The product packed offerings on regional and international exhibitors' stands is up 10 per cent this year, and we expect global visitor representation to also increase as they target Middle Eastern companies, tour operators and end users with their diverse range of products and services," added Press.
Additionally, with over 2,200 exhibitors from 70 countries represented at this year's show, organisers believe destinations and companies from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas are utilising ATM to promote their offerings to an increasingly affluent Middle Eastern customer base. "The Middle East's outbound tourism potential is increasing dramatically and the international tourism market is leveraging the show to promote their destinations," said Press.
Close to 90 new-to-market exhibitors signed up for the 2008 outing, with more than 62 national tourist bodies taking space, including show debutants Bangladesh, The Philippines, Djibouti, Georgia, Senegal and Nepal.
Murtuza Khalid, Senior Sales Executive of Sharaf Travel, said: "I've been here every year since the ATM began. It keeps getting better and better."
Dubai to become premier boating hotspot
Dubai is poised to become the global yachting and boating community's premier "hotspot" as the emirates adds 51,000-plus new berths at different locations, said Saeed Hareb, Director of Nakheel Marinas and Managing Director of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC). "Dubai is already looking at becoming the number one marine and yachting destination," said Hareb. "If you look at projects, such as The Palm Trilogy and The World, Dubai is offering an experience that rivals cannot match."